We all know about famous writers who took their own life, including Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, John Kennedy Toole, and David Foster Wallace.
So it was a little chilling to read that a recent study found that writers are twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.
When I wrote a few weeks ago about some of the cathartic effects of writing through a tough time, there were a few people who took that to mean that I thought that writing alone is therapy. That’s not what I believe.
Writing is not therapy. Therapy is therapy.
Writing can help organize your thoughts and expel some of your feelings, but it’s not going to bring you back above water if you’re drowning. The writing and publication process is frustrating in the very best of worlds, and while writing can help give meaning, it is a very volatile place to be placing all of your hopes.
If you feel yourself struggling, please, find the help you need.
Art: Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford